On June 25, 1950, Communist North Korea invaded the Republic of Korea. Backed by Soviet Russia, the North Koreans quickly overran most of the peninsula. South Korea appealed to the United States for assistance, and President Harry Truman immediately ordered General Douglas MacArthur to commit U.S. troops. The United Nations condemned North Korean aggression and solicited military aid from member nations.
Following a series of defeats, General MacArthur launched a daring amphibious landing at Inchon in September 1950 and advanced northward to the Yalu River. Then Communist China massively intervened, and the Allied forces retreated southward. The fighting eventually stabilized along the 38th Parallel, the original boundary between North and South Korea. After a long, bloody stalemate and protracted negotiations, an armistice was signed on July 27, 1953.
The Korean War - or "police action" as it was called - cost 33,629 Americans killed in action and another 103,000 wounded. More than 132,000 Wisconsinites were involved in this "forgotten war," of whom 801 were killed in action and 4,286 were wounded. Another 111 were captured, and 84 remain listed as missing in action.